Today the Episcopalians, Tomorrow the Catholics!

Sunday, August 16, AD 2015



Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Church so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has  a warning for us:


Most people figured out a long time ago that the ultimate goal of the secular and Christian left in general and the Catholic left in particular is the Episcopalianization of the Roman Catholic Church.  Hence the wild leftist enthusiasm for anything Pope Francis says that sounds like a signal that Rome might be backing away from some of its more objectionable (to the left) doctrines.

Toward that end, the National Catholic [HAW, HAW, HAW, HEE, HEE, HEE, OH MY GOD, STOP IT, MAN, I’M BEGGING YOU, YOU’RE KILLING ME HERE, HAW, HAW, HAW, HEE, HEE, HEE!!] Reporter lets a retired Episcopal minister named Warner White write a bunch of really stupid crap:

It was a slippery slope. Once I began to refer to the Holy Spirit in the feminine in my sermons and in the creed, certain results followed — slowly at first, but inevitably.

Why in the world did you start doing that, Warner?  Because PATRIARCHY!!

“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.” I didn’t notice right away, but after a while, it sunk in. I was calling the Holy Spirit “Lord.” The Holy Spirit, I was saying, not only gives life and proceeds from the Father and the Son, she is “the Lord.” I was co-opting the word “Lord.” In my vocabulary — and that of anyone else who called her “Lord” — this previously masculine word was now including the feminine.


Not too long after I began this new practice, I also retired as an Episcopal parish priest.

Warner, my man, and please pardon the use of the masculine there, you “retired” as a priest LONG before that.

I became a parishioner. I sat in pews. And I noticed how little difference in the patriarchal nature of our worship this change was making, even when we had a woman priest at the altar. The language and imagery remained overwhelmingly masculine.

Told you it was the PATRIARCHY!!  Those bastards.

I also noticed that the priest and a lot of people around me were making “inclusive” language substitutions. When we gave thanks to the Lord our God we didn’t give “him” thanks anymore, we gave “our” thanks. Many people were now substituting “God’s kingdom” for “his kingdom,” and “God’s holy name” for “his holy name.”

Warner has two words of advice for people who do that.  Sack up.

Ugh. I see this as timidity, evasion, a minuscule half-measure. Why evade the issue? Why not just use the feminine? I have been saying, “give her thanks,” “her kingdom,” “her holy name,” and the like. Whenever a reference is being made to God and it is not clearly a reference to the Father or the Son, I am using the feminine.

If Warner gets his way, that Father/Son stuff is on the way out.

I have slipped a long way down the slope. A feminine God is not only Lord, she is also King. And not only do I speak of the Spirit in the feminine, I now speak of God in the feminine about as often as in the masculine.

I have never read a better illustration of Episcopalian air-headedness than Warner provides here.

But as a priest, the daily office immerses me in the PATRIARCHY!! of the psalms. We can’t change the PATRIARCHY!! of our heritage. That’s how God has revealed herself to us over the centuries.

So God’s kind of a screw-up then?

So in reading Scripture, in seeking its meaning, I do not feel free to make changes in the text. But in my worship, I do feel free to do so. When I pray the psalms, it seems to me that I am free to make changes that express my heart.

Son of a…aw, skip it.  You have to give Double W this much.  Dude’s all-in.

So I have gone through the Prayer Book psalms and substituted feminine pronouns for masculine wherever the reference is not clearly to a specific male, such as David and Moses and Joseph.

Any male human being reading this can sit Christianity out since any manifestation of masculinity whatsoever gives Warner the vapors.

I call these committed psalms.

Because anybody stupid enough to read them ought to be?

They go the path of commission rather than the path of omission. Further, they require a commitment on the part of those who use them. We commit ourselves to a path of reparation, of repairing the relation of female and male in our life and worship. Similarly, this is committed language in contrast to inclusive language. This language is not inclusive; it overdoes the feminine on purpose. It is matriarchal language instead of patriarchal.

So basically, it’s totally dishonest.  An absolute frickin’ lie.  Yeah, great Christian witness there, Warner.

Catholics?  Never EVER let down your guard.

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43 Responses to Today the Episcopalians, Tomorrow the Catholics!

  • There is a zany priest at St Pius X in Towson MD who substitutes for male pronouns in the Liturgy. He will not say “Through Him, With Him and in Him” and etcetera. It is already corrupting Catholic liturgy and the bishops do nothing.

  • “Leftism is a cancer whenever it takes hold.”

    Divine Physician come!
    Eradicate this disease now!

  • It is already corrupting Catholic liturgy and the bishops do nothing.

    It’s important that laity learn to accept parish mergers if they want better behavior from priests. Lax discipline is in part a function of manpower problems. There would be fewer such problems if there were not such a neuralgic response to closures. The problem you have is that the active laity are more attached to the building than to the liturgy.

    I was associated with one parish where about 30% of the laity dispersed to other parishes when their pastor was transferred elsewhere. The rule in that diocese is that pastors are appointed for six year terms, renewable once, though this is qualified if a pastor is over 70 upon the completion of his term as it is also policy not to transfer pastors over 70. Their 50-somthing pastor reached the end of his second term and was transferred to a more populous parish about 30 miles north. The parish was then added to the ambo of the administrator of a neighboring parish, who, per canon law, could say Mass only once or twice on a Sunday. This sort of thing happens when you have 4 or 5 priests retiring every year and only 1 or 2 newly ordained. It also happens when 80% of all baptized Catholics in a parish are anywhere but at Mass on Sunday. You could point out to the complainers that no other parish in the diocese gets a permanent pastor and that a parish with 200 attending in a typical week and a full-time pastor is staffed at twice the level of an ordinary parish, but people in that situation are commonly invested in not getting basic arithmetic.

  • Years ago, visiting Father Liberal Goofballus added untoward stuff to the Nicene Creed. I (loudly enough) said, “Where in Hell did he get that stuff?” The Warden was mortified.
    A sufficient number reported the abuses to the pastor and Father G never came back again.

  • I ran into that kind of nonsense when visiting my relatives in a diocese in Michigan. My aunt patiently explained to me that God is not male or female and that on the Cross Our Lord did not call out to His Father but said, “My parent, My parent”. You see? And especially the liberated ‘nuns’ would never use a male pronoun if they could help it.

    But I thought all that dissenting garbage went away over the past few years and under Pope Benedict????

  • @Magdalene.

    Before there was nuns on the bus, there was it’s prequel. “Snakes on a Plane.”

    Obidence is a four letter word (x 2) for those nun’s that ARE above their vows. Habits? Never!

  • “… in seeking its meaning, I do not feel free to make changes in the text. But in my worship, I do …”

  • The Katholyck Church in Amerika is already “Episcopalianized”. Priest give milk toast homilies that say nothing. Bishops ingratiate themselves with liberal politicians. So-called apologists excuse every liberal rant from that Peronist Pontiff, and embrace the ideology of social justice, the common good and peace at any price to the exclusion of the Gospel of Conversion and Repentence, death, judgment, heaven and hell. Real issues like sodomite marriage and murder of the pre-born and fornication and adultery and envy of the wealth that one’s neighbor has earned for himself are avoided as anathema. Frankly, the Katholyck Church and the Soviet Socialist Republik of Amerika disgust me.

  • I do notice though that there seems to be a swing toward more reverence at Mass. Yay! We have noticed the numbers of people dressed nicely for mass are increasing. The numbers of people receiving on the tongue are up! Today we sang “Holy God We Praise Thy Name” ! Father’s sermons are more and more thoughtful. We Catholics may have reached the point where we have seen enough of lemmings going over the cliff.

  • Don’t get mad at W. W., pray for him. He needs all the help he can get.
    Just like the rest of us.

  • As a lay person I have familiarized myself with our Liturgical Norms especially for the Mass. If a priest deviates from them I approach him and ask why. Then I call the Bishop and if that doesn’t get results I send an email/snail mail to Rome and ask for a response. I usually get one.
    A priest does not have ‘leeway’ with these norms. They are there for very specific reasons and are a strong identifier for Catholics.

  • I was taught that the Blessed Mother is the Spouse of the H oly Spirit. Has that changed, too?

  • I agree with Paul Primavera. As Modernism crept into the Church faith in Jesus as the Son of God crept out. Instead of looking toward heaven and finding the means to get there, a large sector of the Church focused on the earth and how to make it a heavenly. Thus the Church became in large measure a Socialist Political organization with multiple Social Justice programs oftentimes paid for by the government. This has the effect of quieting any criticism the Church might have for actions taken that are repellent to those few Catholics who still take what Jesus said seriously. Now with Pope Francis it would appear that the Universalist Socialist Catholic Church is about to became official.

  • In 1886, a book called “Liberalism is a Sin” was written by Fr. Felix Sarda Salvany. My dad gave it to me many years ago, and I still haven’t read it. I can’t even imagine what was going on back then! I’m sure that priest is rolling in his grave now. I’m on Day 3 of a 54 Day Rosary Novena for the intentions of the sanctity of human life, marriage & the family. Hopefully, it will combat whatever negatives come out of the Synod on the Family in October. You can join in and keep track on

  • Pay close attention. Whenever in Scripture there is a story of a bad man or an evil man, the pronouns are NOT changed. Not to worry: think back over history to all the despots and all the regimes that tried to change human nature by simply saying eg white is not black or if you call a dog’s tail a leg it is then a leg. Think about all of AB Bern Cupich’s predecessors and mentors. Not to worry: they lose, Truth [yes cap “T”} wins as do all of us who have put on the full armor of God and faithfully wielded the sword of the spirit-the Word. The Soviet Union is no more-along with its attempted remake of human nature. The Berlin Wall is down. The City Of God will be the only City left standing. Hang in there like JC did for all of us. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  • Our pastor TRIED some of this left wing nonsense. Needless to say, I wrote him a two page letter, told him no more money for the “building fund” or the collection basket, called our bishop, went to a neighboring parish for weekday Mass (in case I needed a priest – ha!) talked to other parishioners, sat in the FRONT pew on Sunday, and told him I was praying for him. He has made some improvements.

  • Pingback: MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  • Sad that they’re discovering the pope is actually catholic…. My comment focuses on the “popes” making commentary here… Y’all appear to be happy about pointing out priests difficulties (and I’m no fan of changing the rubrics), but I ask: how many are supporting those priests who celebrate a good, holy mass & preach Christ & His Church.

  • HAHAHA. The anti-Catholic Church born during the Second Vatican Council is more atheistic than any of the other of the “churches” in human history. This man-centered, anti-Christ church of Baal is infected with the synthesis of heresies, Modernism, which is more potent and more damaging to souls than any of the historical heresies that man has devised, elevating himself above God. (Simply read the Modernist, anti-Catholic “pope” Francis encyclical on earth worship). There has never been such an widespread apostacy against the true religion, Catholicism, in the history of the Church.

    There has never been in Church history more people worshipping the Devil than there are today, including the “popes” of the Modernist church who sold their souls to Satan and are Judases of the most profound degree.

    The problem with “Catholics” in America is they have bought into the lie of Satan which is the very essence and ideology of the “modern church” where Satan rules with its diabolic and false “religious liberty”, Masonic/Protestant “ecumenism”, “the Catholic Church subsist’s in the Church of Christ”, the “seamless garment” where morality is relegated to individual conscience, as Christ is subservient to the “will of the people”.

    Wake up. You have been deceived and are now tools of Satan.

  • Do you find that any of that rant Lanie makes converts to your position?

  • Anzylene: A ” swing for more reverence towards the Mass”? You mean the abomination of the New Order Mass? A Protestant/Masonic “mass” of elevating man to more importance than God? A “mass” that is nothing more than the capitulation of the Church to the heresies of Crammer/Luther? How can the Novus Ordo Mass, nothing more than the Protestantization of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into nothing more than a meal, a supper of heretics reflect the truth of Christ?

  • Hi Lanie
    We both know God’s ways are above our ways! Tho it may have been the intention of some to protestantize the Holy Mass, God’s intentions are not thwarted. (His Word does not return to Him void). His promises have not been negated and His sheep are still offered True Food.

  • The indoctrination of the Catholic into Americanism, or the rejection of the one, true religion of Catholicism, is one of the most insidious and relevant issues of all times.

    Catholics in America have resolved to abandon the one, true faith in order to “get along” with the enemies of Christ, and have succeeded in abandoned God in the process. Most are more interested in serving the enemies of Christ than in serving the one, true God, and have become the enemies of Christ through their fideility to the enemies of Christ who hold the positions of leadership within what most assume to be the leadership of the Catholic Church in the U.S.. These apostates and anti-God prelates are subservient to the Satan. They have no faith, no fidelity to Christ, and are tools of Satan to deceive you and destroy your faith,

    The USCCB is a tool of Satan. It funds Satanic and anti-Christ organizations. It has never supported the truths of Catholicism-the truths of God-and is a diabolical and faith-destroying organization that has Saul Alinskly, an atheistic, Communist as its “god.”

  • Oh the “rant”. The abomination of desolation. ‘God’s ways are above our ways” according to Anzylene. The destruction of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not important to the Modernist, who somehow, has more knowledge, more grace, more insight, more “reverence”, more faith, more truth than the Apostles, the Doctors of the Church, the Fathers of the Church, the Saints, and the holy and orthodox popes of the past.

    Anzylene, if you are so certain in your belief that a Protestantized Mass makes no difference to the truth which is the Catholic religion, simply read the online book: http:/ Sacrilege.CI.pdf

  • Mr. McCleary: Whether or not my “rants” make converts to the position of the truth of Catholicism makes no difference. The truth is what it is. Those who reject the truth will always find themselves as outsiders and eventually, recipients of the the judgement of Christ.

  • Goodness! I am Not saying the new mass has not made a difference. I am saying that the Sacrament is valid.

  • “makes no difference.”

    Of course it makes a difference. Your rant makes you look like a nut and lessens the chances of anyone, other than the people who already agree with you, taking you seriously. Saint Paul did not preach in such a way, the greatest evangelist of the Church, and he started a process which has converted a third of humanity to Christ. You simply are wasting your time while making Catholicism appear repulsive and crazy. Go about your business in venues other than this blog.

  • Isaiah 55:8 – 13

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

  • ‘So I have gone through the Prayer Book psalms and substituted feminine pronouns for masculine wherever the reference is not clearly to a specific male, such as David and Moses and Joseph.

    “Any male human being reading this can sit Christianity out since any manifestation of masculinity whatsoever gives Warner the vapors.”

    I call these committed psalms. ‘

    The comedy from 1977, “High Anxiety”, which satirizes the field of psychology, more its practitioners, could be rewritten for this subject matter. Inspiration and creativity these days produce remakes of originals. There is a host of material for a tragicomic production.

  • Mr. McClarey: I apologize for my crazy rants because unlike St. Paul, who had the advantage of speaking to people who actually wanted to hear the truth, today people can’t stand to hear it.

    I am crazy. Crazy about my Lord and my God. Crazy about defending His Truth. Crazy sad that the deceits of Satan have crept into His Church and they are defended by the sheep being led by false prophets.

  • Go lanie go. I was just reading that St. Augustine said that anger and courage are part of the virtue of hope. It is OK to be angry about what is happening in the Church today and for the last 50 years in particular. I guess it’s a matter of prudence when and how you show your anger as well as your courage. Let us all pray for guidance in this regard.

  • “I am crazy.”

    You should have stopped there Lanie.

  • Pay close attention. Whenever in Scripture there is a story of a bad man or an evil man, the pronouns are NOT changed.
    Guy McClung

    I too have noticed that along with their unwillingness to refer to Satan and her devils as “she”. Those people aren’t opponents of sexism, they simply want to impose their own idiosyncratic, ungodly sexism.

  • Wonder why he hasn’t followed St. Paul’s fervent wish re certain opponents and neutered himself. Is it not true that, if a male exists, that for that person to exist, there was at a certain point, a female involved, and vice-versa? So, you can’t have a patriarch, without a matriarch. Moreover, re ‘sexist’ language, is not “man” used in the sense of all humanity, an elision or slurring over of the initial syllable of “human”? Golly, I’m genius for figgering out that!

  • BTW, foregoing comments in ref to original post re sexist language, not ongoing exchange.

  • BTW, who is the Civil War worthy you used as an icon?

  • Oh, thought it was Guildenstern. But he’s dead.

  • He caught a ball at Stones River.

  • “He caught a ball at Stones River.”

    I assume that was a cannonball and not a fly ball. 😛

  • In England the Anglican church answers to the British P.M. and then to the Queen. The Bishop of Canterbury has no authority and has to answer to the Government and the Queen who is the Supreme Governor of the Church. This has been the law of the land since Elizabeth I became Queen.. Henry VIII made himself supreme ruler which did not go over well with the Catholic England and they refused to convert but when Elizabeth changed the wording which implies she has less authority they joined the church of England. Also if they refused they were drawn and quartered. A former Anglican Bishop who is now a devout Catholic spilled the beans on the protocol of the Anglican church. The Bishop of Canterbury cannot do nothing unless it is approved by British Parliament. That is why they caved in the ordination of women and women bishops. And why they caved when they were told to allow openly gay men in the priesthood marry their same sex partner. Many Anglicans are leaving and joining the Catholic church over this and now the two female bishops are really pushing for change in the wording of the Book of Common Prayer to include God as a feminine God and not a male God. Instead of the Our Father to Our Mother who are art in Heaven. They also want to change the sign of the Cross to more exclusive language. This is the worse heresy perpetuated on a religion and many people are falling for it.

  • This is straight up diabolic. My prayer is that God will clean house and send these anti-Christs packing.

  • Why get so angry. I used to be so upset every time I went to mass because I never knew what I was going to get. Maybe a priest that was changing the words of consecration and making the mass invalid or maybe one making jokes from the altar and calling Gad she. I was fed up so I decided not be angry anymore and went to another parish the first one established by Saint John Paul II to receive the Anglican clergy that wanted to become Catholic and be priests. Praise be to God! I found this parish. I came home to a wonderful Liturgy full of reverence and beautiful prayers. No girls in the Sanctuary only boys acolytes and beautiful organ music. We kneel for communion. Father hears confession not just one hour a week but every Saturday morning until everyone has gone to confession. The place: Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, TX. So beautiful it is that the nuns from Mother Angelica have established a Daughter convent attached to our parish.
    So now I do not worry about who is going to say mass and what are they going to do or say. Our priest has been here since 1983. We have a beautiful school and many vocations have come out of it.
    I tell you that the laity has more power that we think. If you are not satisfied of see irregularities in your parish and the bishop has no responded to your requests contact and organization that deals with this issues. I think that is called St Joseph something, I can’t remember. Maybe someone knows. They are cannon lawyers that help parishes and parishioners with this kind of problems. If you want to see our beautiful Liturgy go to

Another Religion

Sunday, December 21, AD 2014

Buddy Christ


Father Z reminds us that one of the major problem with contemporary Catholicism is that in practice it frequently bears little relationship to Catholicism as traditionally understood:

I was once in a parish with a school. I visited class rooms. I was asked to blessed the class rooms by the pastor. By way of explanation of what blessings are all about I wanted to make the distinction between sacraments and sacramentals. That’s when I discovered that even in the 8th grade, not only could not a single student say what a sacrament is, none of them could name one of the sacraments. And yet I was the one who got into trouble for asking the question in the first place!

This, friends, is what we are dealing with.

This is from First Things. It reminds me of experiences I have had.  My emphases and comments.

At noon I have to be at the local Catholic school—let’s call it St. Dismas—to train altar servers. I will arrive a few minutes early, and by 12:05 most of the kids will have trickled in. We are in Southern California, so most of the boys at St. Dismas wear short pants year-round. Students are required to attend one Mass per month with the school, but it has never occurred to anyone, not their parents, not the pastor, not the teachers, and certainly not the students, that they should wear pants to Mass. The girls wear skirts that in 1966 would have been described as “micro-minis.” When I told the boys’ parents that I expected them to wear their uniform pants to Mass when they become servers, the school principal—a genial thirty-something man who insists on the rigorous use of the title “Dr.” but often wears sweatpants and flip-flops to work [See how decorum plays into this?] —cornered me outside his office for a talk. He warned me that I might get some pushback from parents on the pants requirement. “We are only a medium-Catholic school,” he informed me. “We’re not really that Catholic.”

When we walk as a group into the nave (the church itself is almost barren of Catholic art or iconography), none of the kids bow or genuflect before the tabernacle. They are unaware that this is something they should do. [At the same parish I mentioned above, I was asked to show the soon-to-be 1st Communicants around the church.  When we came to the tabernacle, none of them knew anything about genuflecting.  I showed them and explained why.  “Because the Blessed Sacrament is kept in there!”  Blank faces.  Not a flicker of recognition… and 7 year olds aren’t usually stoic.  I tried several ways of saying what and WHO was in that big ornate box.  Finally, one little boy screwed up his face and said, “You mean that piece of bread thing?”] They don’t know, because none of these children attend Mass on Sunday. When they do become altar servers, they will be dropped off moments before Mass begins and picked up by an idling SUV before the organ has finished the recessional. From time to time, the parents of altar servers can be seen standing outside the church, hunched over a smart phone, killing time while they wait for Mass to finish.

At this point in the school year, the first-time altar servers have developed a rudimentary understanding of what is expected of them during Mass, but when they began their training in September they needed quite a lot of attention. As I said, they attend Mass once a month with their class, but never on Sunday. Therefore, none of them are aware of the Gloria, the Credo, or the Second Reading. On the first day of training, several kids made the Sign of the Cross in the eastern fashion, and I had to take several minutes to correct them. I brought this up with a member of the school administration, and she was somewhat surprised. The kids say a morning prayer each day, she said, and they begin with the Sign of the Cross. It’s possible that no one ever corrected them. I have never seen any of the teachers at Holy Mass, so it seems likely that this sort of attention to detail isn’t a priority for them either.

The children know nothing of vestments, sacramentals, [That’s for sure!] the prayers of the Church other than the Hail Mary and the Our Father, feast days, or the concept of Sanctifying Grace. None has been to confession since the first one, but all receive communion without any thought. If their parents are forced into Mass, they too will line up for communion and receive it happily and without qualm. The teachers aren’t practicing Catholics, the parents aren’t practicing Catholics, and the parish priest would never dare suggest to the congregation that they go to confession. He correctly understands that there would be outrage among his flock.

The pastor at St. Dismas is a gay man. It is quite possible that this priest—let’s call him Fr. Dave—lives a life of celibacy. I have no reason to doubt that he does. He presents himself, however, as a traditional, American “queen.” He is a kind and gentle priest, and I think the kids genuinely like him. He does everything he can to take part in the life of the school, and he always has a warm word for parishioners, students, and parents. Fr. Dave has been my primary confessor for about six years. His style in the confessional is orthodox. He makes no attempt to psychoanalyze me, and he levies a serious penance when I deserve it. He is also quite reverent as a presider at Holy Mass. He does not improvise, and he makes it plain that he considers Mass to be a grave and solemn occasion.

Fr. Dave knows better than to suggest to his flock how to live as Catholics. He does not speak of sin. Ever. He does not discuss the saints, devotions, the rosary or prayer of any kind, marriage, death, the sacraments, Catholic family life, the Devil, the poor, the sick, the elderly, the young, mercy, forgiveness, or any other aspect of the Catholic faith that might be useful to a layperson. His homilies are the worst sort of lukewarm application of the day’s Gospel reading—shopworn sermons that sound very much like they were copied word for word from a book of Gospel reflections published in 1975. No one in the pews ever discusses his homilies as far as I can tell.

The pews are not full. The most crowded Mass is at ten-thirty on Sunday morning, when the church is usually about two-thirds full. Holy days of obligation draw almost no one. I attended the Easter Vigil last year and the Church was half empty. The crowd at a typical Sunday Mass is mixed. There are quite a few elderly parishioners who sit together and ignore the rubrics of the Mass. They refuse to kneel after Communion, they hold hands during the Our Father, they chat loudly before and after Mass, and they roam the Church greeting their friends, seemingly unaware that others might want to pray in silence. The most prayerful and reverent congregants are the handful of Filipino families. The other Mass-goers are a smattering of middle class families, stray Catholic singles, and a few Latin American die-hards. After Mass, the older people hang around and shake hands with the pastor. Everyone else drives away. I know only a small handful of my fellow parishioners, and I hesitate to bring any of this up with them. It doesn’t seem worth it.

Yes, that’s how it ends.

Just a shrug of the shoulders.

It’s. Another. Religion.

If it’s a religion at all.

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30 Responses to Another Religion

  • Mr McClarey, after reading this piece does anybody on this blog still disbelieve that we are in the End-Times?

  • “When the Son of Man returns will he find faith on earth?”

  • “[T]he worst sort of lukewarm application of the day’s Gospel reading.”
    Cardinal de Bérulle used to say that a sermon that did not insist on the following three points was so much time wasted: (1) that man is a fallen creature; (2) that he can be acquitted before God only through a reliance on Christ; and (3) that God, by his Holy Spirit, can alone give him a new heart and fit him for the kingdom of Heaven.
    Bérulle was one of the principle figures in the French Counter-Reformation. An Oratorian, he introduced the Carmelites of the Reform into France and he was the spiritual director of two Saints, St Vincent de Paul and St François de Sales. Pope Urban VIII called him “the apostle of the incarnate Word.”

  • I doubt if we are in the end. Throughout History since the time of Christ Catholics have been morally certain they are in End Times and been wrong. I take Christ’s comment about his Second Coming being a thief in the night literally, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually comes when it is least expected. My own philosophy is contained in this poem:

    ‘Twas on a May-day of the far old year
    Seventeen hundred eighty, that there fell
    Over the bloom and sweet life of the Spring
    Over the fresh earth and the heaven of noon,
    A horror of great darkness, like the night
    In day of which the Norland sagas tell,
    The Twilight of the Gods. The low-hung sky
    Was black with ominous clouds, save where its rim
    Was fringed with a dull glow, like that which climbs
    The crater’s sides from the red hell below.
    Birds ceased to sing, and all the barnyard fowls
    Roosted; the cattle at the pasture bars
    Lowed, and looked homeward; bats on leathern wings
    Flitted abroad; the sounds of labor died;
    Men prayed, and women wept; all ears grew sharp
    To hear the doom-blast of the trumpet shatter
    The black sky, that the dreadful face of Christ
    Might look from the rent clouds, not as He looked
    A loving guest at Bethany, but stern
    As Justice and inexorable Law.

    Meanwhile in the old State House, dim as ghosts,
    Sat the lawgivers of Connecticut,
    Trembling beneath their legislative robes.
    “It is the Lord’s Great Day! Let us adjourn,”
    Some said; and then, as if with one accord,
    All eyes were turned to Abraham Davenport.
    He rose, slow cleaving with his steady voice
    The intolerable hush. “This well may be
    The Day of Judgment which the world awaits;
    But be it so or not, I only know
    My present duty, and my Lord’s command
    To occupy till He come. So at the post
    Where He hast set me in His providence,
    I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face,
    No faithless servant frightened from my task,
    But ready when the Lord of the harvest calls;
    And therefore, with all reverence, I would say,
    Let God do His work, we will see to ours.
    Bring in the candles.” And they brought them in.

    Then by the flaring lights the Speaker read,
    Albeit with husky voice and shaking hands,
    An act to amend an act to regulate
    The shad and alewive fisheries, Whereupon
    Wisely and well spake Abraham Davenport,
    Straight to the question, with no figures of speech
    Save the ten Arab signs, yet not without
    The shrewd dry humor natural to the man:
    His awe-struck colleagues listening all the while,
    Between the pauses of his argument,
    To hear the thunder of the wrath of God
    Break from the hollow trumpet of the cloud.

    And there he stands in memory to this day,
    Erect, self-poised, a rugged face, half seen
    Against the background of unnatural dark,
    A witness to the ages as they pass,
    That simple duty hath no place for fear.
    – See more at:

  • Be as Abraham Davenport at such as St. Dismas.

  • ThIs sad commentary is also an epitaph on over two decades of former Cardinal Mahony’s leadership and the virtual death of the Catholic faith in Southern California.. When he took over from Cardinal Manning, It was a thriving, fairly traditional Novus Ordo Catholic diocese. But Mahoney was a strident enemy of traditional Catholic belief. Anyone who doubts that should read his pastoral letter on liturgy (in the 1990’s) or tour the new cathedral. Now it truly is a different religion, resembling CS Lewis’ criticisms of the Anglican Church in England in his time—and yet far worse.

  • I am a Catholic convert who grew up in the Methodist church. Methodism is sometimes referred to as “Catholic Light” because a typical Methodist service mimics the Mass pretty closely in form. The substance, of course, is lacking, with no Eucharist at the center, which they don’t even pretend to believe in (their only valid sacraments, as with all Protestant churches, are Baptism and Marriage). Also instead of a 15 minute homily, you usually get a one hour (or longer) sermon… I bring up the Methodists, though, because they are a perfect example of what happens over time when a tradition becomes man centered, doctrine is developed through consensus, and principles are allowed to gradually conform to the zeitgeist of the time. The biggest example (but by no means the only one) is that the modern United Methodist Church is a member of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and openly supports abortion rights in this country and around the world. I suspect John Wesley would be appalled. Sadly, on the “Coalition Members” page of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice website (I don’t know how to code a working link, but here’s the URL:, there is also a listing for “Catholics for Choice” – an oxymoron if there ever was one. We believing Catholics in the pews must, MUST, MUST restore a full and faithful catechesis in our Parishes, starting with ourselves, so we can properly catechize our own children. If we fail to stand for the Faith, we fail Christ. It’s that simple. If we allow the Catholic Church to go the way of modern Methodism, we will deserve the judgment we receive on the last day.

  • These ARE the end times. We are now in the 1981st year for the end times, assuming they began in the year 33.

    Unless the pastor were to quash it, the handful of orthodox parishioners should get to work. Is there a Bible study? How about a monthly movie night with a Christian themed film and refreshments? In fact, how about refreshments after Mass? Just were do those SUVs go anyway?

    I don’t think that any of this is irreversible. The kids are still dropped off to altar serve, are the not? The kids may not have been properly catechized regarding the Blessed Sacrament and its reservation. So what? Just DO IT, find some language that will inspire awe and still reach them. And pick your battles: I personally would have let slide the eastern style sign of the cross (i.e., I would have mentioned it but not insisted on changing it – Eastern Catholics use it, after all)

  • This is all too common in American Catholic parishes. I learned more about the Catholic church and the Catholic faith the first two months I had the Internet back in January 1999 then I learned in eight years of Catholic school and CCD.

    As St. John Paul II said, the home is the Domestic Church. It starts there. Lukewarm parents beget children who drift away. Being Catholic is work – hard work. There is not try – just persistence.

  • I think the people who believe we are in the end times are far too optimistic. They might think that things can’t get any worse, and so Christ must be just around the corner.
    But even a cursory review of history, even the last century, suggests otherwise. World wars, mass starvations, enslavement of entire counties by Islam, etc.
    It could and probably will get much, much worse. Enjoy it before we have to take public oaths approving progressivism, etc.

  • Relativism and indifference is a sickness that attacks the body of the church. I too feel for St. Dismas. The parents weak “do as I say not as I do” attitude is screaming here. Tell me what happens when the salt looses its flavor. 🙁

  • Thinking about this article by Fr. Z further, two things come forward for many priests in the typical diocesan post:

    1) as Fr Z observes, Fr Dave ‘ s Gospel reflections are old re-hashes, because the Scriptures are just legends of a great moral teacher, but nothing more. We should live his way and that’s that. (I call it “Living the Legend”-Christianity). We aren’t even sure they are ‘real’ accounts of actual events, as Bp. PJ McGrath (San Jose, CA) wrote a few years ago. Watch the “Scriptural Two-Step” in a few days when these types need to talk about the Infancy Narratives and the Magi, thank you, Raymond Brown.

    2) A new liturgy, that has dispensed with the beliefs of a need for a perfect oblation and a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of us, the living, and also the dead, robs the priest of his meaning for his existence and the people of a vital importance to attend it. (cf. Michael Davies).
    Kyrie eleison.

  • The many–too many–Catholic communities that are in shambles will never improve unless we realize that any solution that puts the cart before the horse does not work. By this I mean that unless the children are taught orthodox facts of the Faith, they will grow up as generations of ignorant adult “Catholics” we encounter today. And because it is a vicious circle–that is, children with ignorant parents–the circle has to be broken by devout and knowledgeable laymen and priests.

  • Hit the nail on the head!

  • Sydney O. Fernandes, MD wrote, “unless the children are taught orthodox facts of the Faith…”
    My English boarding school, back in the ‘50s had an interesting method of religious instruction. Each evening for prep, we had to translate a chapter or so of the Gospels or Acts, taken in strict sequence. Next morning, in class, the master went round the class, making us read out our translations and parse individual words (gender, number, case for nouns and adjectives, person, number, tense and mood for verbs) and rules of syntax, for about a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes. The masters attempted little or no commentary.
    There are 117 chapters in the Gospels and Acts, so we completed the whole cycle every two terms, so, between the ages of 8 and 13, we must have gone through them about seven times.
    This minute and painstaking study indelibly imprinted what Bl John Henry Newman called the “supernatural facts and actions, beings and principles” of Revelation on our memories and imaginations.

  • M. P-S: Ah, my metaphorical mouth waters at the opportunity you have had! I am grateful, though, for the old-time Spanish Missionary Jesuits for the sound formal religious education they gave to the students of the all-boys school in Bombay, and the moral instructions to the non-Catholic students. God bless them; and a prayer that the modern Jesuits would learn more about their historic predecessors, including St. Francis Xavier, whose remains are in Old Goa (minus the arm, which is in Rome.)

  • Mary DV: I think he (Jesus) is saying, “I’ll be seeing y’all REAL SOON! Hope you’re ready!”

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  • Let’s not let the fact that there are kooks in California cause us to believe the day of judgment is at hand.

    It is always darkest before the dawn
    Where sin abounds, grace does more abound.

    Summorum Pontificum is here, and the TLM grows each year.

    Great poem by Whittier, by the way.

  • This was very possibly my local school and parish.

  • I don’t agree with the author that its this bad everywhere. I think this Parish tends to service a lower economic class who often are ill educated with the basics in education, let alone the precepts of our faith. I found this to be true when I grew up in the 1970s, since I was raised in a lower working class parish. I have had to educate myself through catholic sites on the internet as an adult to reach my current level of understanding of the precepts of the Church.

    Its quite refreshing now, going to a parish which has full attendance and most seem to understand the basic tenets of Catholism, although I am surprised that 99% of the attendees receive communion and do not have any unforgiven mortal sins. I think it would be helpful in parishes that need education for the priests to place a small section in the weekly paper bullentine which teaches the basic precepts of our faith, since many adults may not know them and can not teach them to their children.

  • That Puppet is not Jesus Christ. That puppet is Pope Francis.

  • From your lips to God’s ears, D John, that the LA Southland is not epitomized by this “St Dismas” vignette: however, I would not rely on a view that this “parish [is only so because it] tends to service a lower economic class who often are ill educated.” The local N.O. parish in a very upscale, proudly highly educated SF Bay Area, and its adjacent neighbors reflect the same lack of consciousness of their faith.
    I focus on the clear digression from the traditional Mass as a universal expiatory sacrifice, a supreme action of the priest alone witnessed by the faithful (Duns Scotus), to the New Mass of the Consilium/Vatican I, its theology as originally explained in the 1969 Gen Instr. Roman Missal (“GIRM”):
    “The Lord’s Supper is the assembly or meeting for the People of God, met together with a priest presiding to celebrate the Memorial of the Lord…” (n. 7) The 5th or so re-formulation of GIRM has tried to correct the damage: but the original intent of a Novus Ordo Mass and its framers is revealed in Bugnini’s and his commission’s original words.

    Merely an assembly does not require much on the part of a “presider” other than being a smiling potted-plant: neither do the attendees feel there is much urgency for them to attend something that is merely a “remembering meal.” (Thus why it is celebrated on a “memorial table” instead of an altar of sacrifice now.) We can have meals with our friends at holiday times and they may have the same or more meaning—and no collection basket.

    When the priest sets forth to commence the Liturgy of the Faithful in the TLM, a very important prayer makes clear his intentions (“Suscipe, Sancte Pater”), a prayer stripped from the New Mass:
    “Accept, O Holy father, Almighty and Eternal God, this spotless host, which I, Your unworthy servant, offer to You, my living and true God, to atone for my numberless sins, offences, and negligences; on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians living and dead, that it may profit me and them as a means of salvation to life everlasting. Amen.”

    Besides this prayer reflecting the Prayer of St. Ambrose in preparation for the Mass, the specific words also fulfill the express purpose for which the priest was ordained in the “Old” rite, to offer the universal sacrifice to expiate the sins of the living and the dead,

    Many priests in the New Order piously and sincerely celebrate a Mass of efficaciousness—but that reflects their good heart and intention of praying as the Church has always prayed. St Dismas and its priest and congregation point to something else.

  • Thank you again Steve Phoenix
    “…. to offer the universal sacrifice to expiate the sins of the living and the dead …”

  • Steve Phoenix wrote, “ Merely an assembly does not require much on the part of a “presider” other than being a smiling potted-plant: neither do the attendees feel there is much urgency for them to attend something that is merely a “remembering meal.” (Thus why it is celebrated on a “memorial table” instead of an altar of sacrifice now.) We can have meals with our friends at holiday times and they may have the same or more meaning—and no collection basket.”
    If we look at the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians, the sacrificial notion is clearly implicit. Christ alone had offered or could offer true atoning blood. His disciples merely set forth bread and wine, and without reliance on Christ’s institution to establish the equivalence of their bread and wine with his body and blood, they could not suppose themselves to be doing anything. The bread and wine were holy things in a positive and even potentially alarming sense (Consider St Paul’s words about unworthy reception). To become so, they had to be lifted out of the common run and placed in God’s peculiar possession, so that for a man to partake of them was a privilege fenced about with sanctities. If the Lord and his death were set forth with all the realism of sacramental presence for “a memorial before God” and for thankful remembrance to God, it was natural for Christians’ thoughts to centre on a presentation, a sacrifice, (to be felt in heaven and on earth), rather than on anyone’s remembering.
    It always strikes me as odd to see the mass as a commemoration of the Last Supper. “Do this for my memorial” surely means “In commemoration of my redemptive act,” such that, Christ’s redemptive act was his death and resurrection. The Institution Narrative shows how that act was and can be sacramentally realized. It is scarcely evident that a sacramental memorial of the redemptive act should memorialize the institution of that memorial.”

  • Well, MPS, to help me understand better what you are saying:
    1) “…In 1 Corinthians, the sacrificial notion is clearly implicit…” Permit me a logical “correction:” Only something explicit can be deductively “clear”. Implicitness is open to inductive evaluation, it seems to me, as we are doing.

    2) I don’t understand this part of your comment: “His disciples merely set forth bread and wine, and without reliance on Christ’s institution to establish the equivalence of their bread and wine with his body and blood, they could not suppose themselves to be doing anything.” If you would like to explain further, thank you for doing so. (I really dont get your drift here: maybe you meant an “If..” in front of this sentence.)

    3) I agree wholeheartedly that a [mere] commemoration is an odd modern interpretation of the sacrifice of the Mass and the sacrament of the Eucharist (“…It always strikes me as odd to see the Mass as a commemoration of the Last Supper.”)—sacrifice and sacrament being dogmas which the Church, East and West, has traditionally always believed. Hitler and the Nazi’s were performed profound commemorations recalling the “sacrifice” of the war dead of WWI (cf. Triumph of the Will); the US Democratic party held infamous “memorials” after the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone and Secretary Ron Brown as public grief-and-action events: is that all that the Mass is reduced to? Better not be. (I dont believe you are proposing these either.)

    4) A sacrifice is performed on an altar (as previously, East and West); a memorial meal only needs a table—which is where St. Dismas’ parish seems now to be [much more] celebrating themselves, more so than the supreme act of sacrifice in which (Duns Scotus says) we are justly nothing more than spectators, as we see Christ “repair the divine insult to the Father.” (my paraphrase of Scotus’ words)

    5) Most of all, newly ordained priests are “voting with their feet” as to which Rite, TLM or Novus Ordo (NO) they wish to be part of: The former Rite gives meaning to their existence, to offer the universal sacrifice to expiate the sins of the living and the dead. A good number of NO priests (not all by any means), as at “St Dismas,” must slap on a cadaverous smile and mumble meaningless nothings to try to keep the few people attending pacified. See Rorate-Caeli, which shows the future for France (it might as well be England, Belgium, the US or any other country) where trad ordinations far outstrip the paltry NO ordinations (only 80 in all of France last June), while the deaths or retirements of existing priests number about 500 per year:

    Eventually traditional priests including the SSPX who are particularly strong in numbers in France will outnumber NO priests.

    AS the Rorate Caeli articles also comments, French Catholics now attend Mass regularly at the rate of perhaps about 5% or even less: American Catholics are trending similarly in that direction, voting with their feet also on the need to attend a “Remembering Meal.”

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “It always strikes me as odd to see the mass as a commemoration of the Last Supper. “Do this for my memorial” surely means “In commemoration of my redemptive act,” such that, Christ’s redemptive act was his death and resurrection. The Institution Narrative shows how that act was and can be sacramentally realized. It is scarcely evident that a sacramental memorial of the redemptive act should memorialize the institution of that memorial.”
    The chalice of Christ’s Blood is offered to His Father with the words: “Do this in memory of me.” The bread becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ at the Consecration of the Mass by the priest acting “in persona Christi” (power of attorney) saying Christ’s words: “This is My Body.” right here, right now, in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ on the altar.
    After institution of the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ went out to the Garden and suffered a horrible death of crucifixion. So must we all.

  • Do this In Memory of ME– “Do this” isn’t that a command to his apostles, and to our priests- to make this offering in perpetuity, as He was doing for the first time there at the last supper? .
    In Memory of ME – In living memory or awareness of Him, the whole Him, as He offered His Whole Person- Body, Blood Soul and Divinity–
    The Miracle is provided- the “Doing” is done by the God in HIs Priest- and we receivers acknowledge and accept the Living Christ into our bodies. Sanctifying and Actual.
    The priests carry out this command for every generation in every place around the world– they bring Christ to us. We ask for the grace to receive Him worthily and not profane His Body. Like Mary we ponder and keep all these things in our hearts.

    correct me where needed please

  • To add Anzlyne: A bishop friend told me that the Holy Eucharist elevated, is in elevation, continuously throughout the whole world.

Catholicism Lite Triumphs at the Synod

Monday, October 13, AD 2014

Catholicism Lite



The Synod on the Family has issued a document summarizing the discussions so far.  It is perhaps the most mealy mouthed Church document that I have ever read, which is saying something considering the competition for that title over the past fifty years.  Here is the heart of the document:




46.        In the same way the situation of the divorced who have remarried demands a careful discernment and an accompaniment full of respect, avoiding any language or behavior that might make them feel discriminated against. For the Christian community looking after them is not a weakening of its faith and its testimony to the indissolubility of marriage, but rather it expresses precisely its charity in its caring.

     47.        As regards the possibility of partaking of the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, some argued in favor of the present regulations because of their theological foundation, others were in favor of a greater opening on very precise conditions when dealing with situations that cannot be resolved without creating new injustices and suffering. For some, partaking of the sacraments might occur were it preceded by a penitential path – under the responsibility of the diocesan bishop –, and with a clear undertaking in favor of the children. This would not be a general possibility, but the fruit of a discernment applied on a case-by-case basis, according to a law of gradualness, that takes into consideration the distinction between state of sin, state of grace and the attenuating circumstances.

     48.        Suggesting limiting themselves to only “spiritual communion” was questioned by more than a few Synodal Fathers: if spiritual communion is possible, why not allow them to partake in the sacrament? As a result a greater theological study was requested starting with the links between the sacrament of marriage and the Eucharist in relation to the Church-sacrament. In the same way, the moral dimension of the problem requires further consideration, listening to and illuminating the consciences of spouses.

     49.        The problems relative to mixed marriages were frequently raised in the interventions of the Synodal Fathers. The differences in the matrimonial regulations of the Orthodox Churches creates serious problems in certain contexts to which have to be found suitable responses in communion with the Pope. The same applies to inter-religious marriages.

Welcoming homosexual persons

     50.        Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?

     51.        The question of homosexuality leads to a serious reflection on how to elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension: it appears therefore as an important educative challenge. The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.

     52.        Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.

The transmission of life and the challenge of the declining birthrate

     53.        It is not difficult to notice the spread of a mentality that reduces the generation of life to a variable of an individual’s or a couple’s plans. Economic factors sometimes have enough weight to contribute to the sharp drop in the birthrate which weakens the social fabric, compromising the relationship between generations and rendering the view of the future less certain. Being open to life is an intrinsic requirement of married love.

     54.        Probably here as well what is required is a realistic language that is able to start from listening to people and acknowledging the beauty and truth of an unconditional opening to life as that which human life requires to be lived to its fullest. It is on this base that we can rest an appropriate teaching regarding natural methods, which allow the living in a harmonious and aware way of the communication between spouses, in all its dimensions, along with generative responsibility. In this light, we should go back to the message of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae of Paul VI, which underlines the need to respect the dignity of the person in the moral evaluation of the methods of birth control.

     55.        So help is required to live affectivity, in marriage as well, as a path of maturation, in the evermore profound welcoming of the other and in an ever-fuller giving. It has to be emphasized in this sense the need to offer formative paths that nourish married life and the importance of a laity that provides an accompaniment consisting of living testimony. It is undoubtedly of great help the example of a faithful and profound love made up of tenderness, of respect, capable of growing in time and which in its concrete opening to the generation of life allows us to experience a mystery that transcends us.

The challenge of education and the role of the family in evangelization

     56.        The fundamental challenge facing families today is undoubtedly that of education, rendered more difficult and complex by today’s cultural reality. What have to be considered are the needs and expectations of families capable of testifying in daily life, places of growth, of concrete and essential transmission of the virtues that provide form for existence.

     57.        In this Church can carry out a precious role in supporting families, starting from Christian initiation, through welcoming communities. What is asked of these, today even more than yesterday, in complex as well as mundane situations, is to support parents in their educative undertaking, accompanying children and young people in their growth through personalized paths capable of introducing them to the full meaning of life and encouraging choices and responsibilities, lived in the light of the Gospel.



     58.        The reflections put forward, the fruit of the Synodal dialog that took place in great freedom and a spirit of reciprocal listening, are intended to raise questions and indicate perspectives that will have to be matured and made clearer by the reflection of the local Churches in the year that separates us from the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of bishops planned for October 2015. These are not decisions that have been made nor simply points of view. All the same the collegial path of the bishops and the involvement of all God’s people under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will lead us to find roads of truth and mercy for all. This is the wish that from the beginning of our work Pope Francis has extended to us, inviting us to the courage of the faith and the humble and honest welcome of the truth in charity.

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41 Responses to Catholicism Lite Triumphs at the Synod

  • Meanwhile, the Patheos Catholics have posted their collective response:

  • The response of The Anchoress reads like a parody:

    “Lots of people asking “how do we ‘value’ their sexual orientation? I don’t pretend (or presume) to have any sort of “official” answer on that, but these are my own thoughts, because wondering is still permitted and wondering, as Saint Gregory of Nyssa taught us, is what leads to knowing!

    All I can do is suggest — bc it’s what I suspect — that God has plans and designs that perhaps we do not understand and which will eventually leave all of us, both gay and straight, gasping in wonder.

    My own deep suspicion is that the orientation may, finally be meant to a full and complete understanding of the nature of agape, which I think is nebulous for most of us, and there is certainly value in that. I look at people like Eve Tushnet, who speaks and writes so well on being “Gay and Catholic“ and how her celibacy empowers her to practice agape on a profound level — and I see similar writings from other celibate gay folk — and I wonder if there isn’t a bit of “Only Nixon Could Go To China” about it all of it.

    Hear me out: our culture is ridiculously obsessed with their orgasms and convinced that a life without orgasms cannot have meaning or fullness. Perhaps it will take our gay Christian members to fully communicate what a lie that is; how valuable will their orientation then seem? God has done stranger things.”

    Read more:

  • Unadulterated madness. Bring on the schism!

  • The bishops are arguing that the church should embrace homosexuals
    and gay unions and their children and welcome them into the church.
    However gay marriage is off the table. What about gays taking communion?
    Apparently, gays will be allowed to take communion which is a mortal
    sin. The radical gay agenda will be coming to a Catholic church near you.

    Apparently, Francis has learned nothing from the recent scandal of pedophile

    Though gay marriage is off the table, Francis and the bishops
    must know that the state will soon demand gay marriages by the church.

    The bishops are also arguing for a new interpretation of Humanae Vitae.

    This I was anticipating. The Catholic left has always hated Humanae Vitae.
    Contraception, abortion, and divorce will tacitly be accepted by the bishops.

    Didn’t Pope Francis condemn the church’s obsession with gays, contraception
    and abortion, which are the main themes of Francis’ synod.?

    It seems to me that our pope and the bishops wish to redefine mercy to mean
    that the church must embrace sin as an act of mercy.

    I wonder what Pope Benedict must be thinking, since he appointed most of
    the bishops.

  • On a lighter note:

    Does this mean that Catholic dating services will now accept the divorced but not annulled? After a period of reflection and penance?

    Hot dog! Line up those hotties for me. Its been a quarter of a century since I bedded me a filly! Wait, let me put my teeth in, neaten my toupe, put on that new girdle and splash on some wrinkle away skin lotion, if I can find my reading glasses to differentiate it from that Preparation H or the Capsaisin Arthritis Cream…… Ok. I am ready to take my avatar picture now. WOW!

    Thank you, Pope Francis!


  • “Its been a quarter of a century since I bedded me a filly!”

    You go dude! How does one say “Ride ’em Cowboy” in Latin? Maybe it can be the Pope’s new motto. :0

  • Oh, Karl, thank you so much for making me laugh really hard. I needed it so much. Please promise me that if you find a filly that you want to settle down with, that you’ll invite me to the New Catholic Pastoral Sorta Sacramental Marriage Mass cause I’ve been hanging on to two lovely chapel veils (one white, one black) for many years for just such an occasion. Just gotta locate a bobby pin in case it’s a windy day (I’m not sure they even sell such things any more).

  • Karl: That is the funniest comment to date.
    Here is what I commented on Storm Brewing earlier: What does Cardinal Kasper propose to do with all the betrayed, abandoned, deserted, denied first wives and husbands, who have kept the Catholic Church’s precepts on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony? Violating the Sacrament of Holy Penance is not a get home free pass for the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. The Sacrament of Holy Penance requires reparation before reconciliation. The First Wives Club has already been made into a movie.
    A note to Cardinal Kasper: “Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned.” It has been the deserted wife who holds the keys to an annulment. Without the deserted wife’s consent, the Catholic Church has and does maintain the inviolability of that particular marriage. Like Catherine of Aragon who refused to divorce Henry VIII so as to not bastardize her daughter, the annulment process remains in the consent of the forsaken wife. When or until the betrayed wife seeks an annulment, the Catholic Church considers the marriage valid. If the synod on the Family and Marriage turns its back on the betrayed wife, what will it consider truth, next? excommunicating the first wife for keeping her marriage sacred? Looks like.
    Another note to Cardinal Kasper: You have been introduced to Our Lady, Untier of Knots. Now, let me introduce you to Our Lady of Succor, Exterminatrix of Heresies, and a$$grabbing demons, Protector of mothers with children and Scourge of faithless fathers.
    Cardinal Kasper, you have been out maneuvered by the Blessed Virgin. You are beginning to resemble Francisco Goya’s painting of Saturn devouring his children…from a Kentucky Fried Chicken tub.

  • jeannebodine:
    “Oh, Karl, thank you so much for making me laugh really hard. I needed it so much. Please promise me that if you find a filly that you want to settle down with, that you’ll invite me to the New Catholic Pastoral Sorta Sacramental Marriage Mass…”
    The American Catholic; You’ve got talent.

  • SSPX, here we come.

  • As I said earlier, I’ll be seeing a lot more of the SSPX on a regular basis.

  • Folks,

    The Eastern Orthodox Churches really do regard Marriage and hence Divorce quite differently than does the Roman Catholic Church.

    I wonder what Eastern Catholics think of all this given their closeness to our Eastern Orthodox brethren.

  • My concern when I posted that “lighter note” was that it might hurt someone or truly give the impression that I was “looking”. My intent was for a laugh.

    The filly that I settled down with, my only filly, is the one that I promised myself to in 1980. To have the example of healing this mess, before our seven children and their 13 children would be what would have the most meaning to the next generation. But it cannot happen without the Church and with each day that passes the likelihood of any reconciliation decreases, in practical terms.

    Jeanne, I still have a few of my mother’s bobbie pins laying around, somewhere. I laugh alot too. It helps me to remember that I am not the center of the universe and to, at least try to be a blessing to those who cross my path.

    My mother taught me my faith and my sense of humor. As long as my sense of humor survives, I think, so will some faith. I hope so.

    Thank you, to all, for taking my little “thing”, the way it was meant.


  • Paul,

    An eastern Catholic priest has been very close to my wife and very supportive of her adultery and her crimes against our marriage for more than a decade. He is no different than the Latin Rite priests, nor has his Bishop or Metropolitan. My wife’s lover is the cantor in his Church.

    Few people understand how thorough the corruption is or what those of us who honor our vows face.

    He, more than anyone, has been in a position to break this nightmare. But he supports it, without blinking an eye.


  • I like my parish, but it gets harder and harder to give our weekly donation and put forth the effort necessary to keep her afloat.

  • 46. The Spiritual Works of Mercy: Admonish the sinner.

    47. “penitential path” = repent; Confess; do penance; amend your life, do good works for the greater glory of God through Jesus and Mary.

    I can’t go on. It is far too painful.

    OTOH, If they pass this, I’ll be in the market for a 60-year-old nymphomaniac that owns a liquor store.

  • Karl,
    I was not judging. I only provided a web link to Bishop Athenagoras’ essay on Marriage and Divorce. Having read the essay, I do not think the Eastern Orthodox came to their position, whether right or wrong, in order to sanctify adultery and hurt the aggrieved. We may disagree with Eastern Orthodox reasoning. But however faulty their position may be, I do not attribute to their clerics the liberal malice, and greed for money and power that I see oozing from this current Synod.
    I have done some other research on this matter. Apparently there are ulterior motives for Cardinal Kasper to want to adapt the Eastern Orthodox practice of Oikonomia. His motive is not mercy. Rather, his motive is to keep people living in a second marriage or cohabitating before marriage on the German tax roles for the Church. You see, as I understand it, in Germany a certain amount of one’s income is taxed for the Catholic Church if one claims one is Catholic. But if the Catholic Church calls a second marriage adultery or cohabitation divorce, then there is no motive for the people in a second marriage or for the cohabitators to still claim to be members of the Catholic Church. Thus, they claim they are Protestants, atheists, agnostics or whatever in order to avoid the German tax for the Church. Thus, Cardinal Kasper loses revenue and this is his primary motive.
    Now I can understand the Eastern Orthodox idea of Oikonomia. Whether I agree or not is a different matter. But I can’t stand for what Cardinal Kasper is doing – placing money above mercy and then disguising that motive as mercy. And the liberal progressive news media sucks all that in, hook, line and sinker. We need to expose these motivations to the light of day. Yes, let us have mercy for the divorced and remarried. But let us not say we are doing that when our motive is no better than that of Judas Iscariot! When I read about that, my blood boiled. If this is true, then what Cardinal Kasper is doing is sickening and disgusting for a cleric to do.

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  • This statement is a gem:

    “…others were in favor of a greater opening on very precise conditions when dealing with situations that cannot be resolved without creating new injustices and suffering.”

    It mentions very precise conditions but goes on to clarify in the most vague way possible that it will be on a case by case (not general) basis. But my favorite part… “situations that cannot be resolved without creating new injustices and suffering.”

    Scripture is full of examples and warnings about sin having consequences. That is why the loving and merciful thing to do is speak the truth and lead people out of their sin. If they “suffer” earthly consequences as a result of their rebellion and sin, this is a normal and expected outcome. It is in fact a “just” outcome for them to be punished for their sin (that has most likely caused others’ suffering).

    God says it is better to suffer for doing what is right than to suffer for doing what is wrong. Pretty simple math. Scripture is crystal clear that following Christ will involve sacrifices and suffering but this new concept is not about following Christ – it’s about letting him follow behind and forgive as we thumb our nose at Him.

    No one is too worried about “injustices” or suffering when it comes to first marriages/families breaking up. It should be called the Synod to Redefine Family (as anyone eating out of the same refrigerator).

  • I’m not quite sure what the tizzy is about. The Church cannot error in it’s teaching on Faith and Morals, this we know for certain.

    On the other hand, the Church in the decisions made by it’s leadership, habitually makes errors of prudential judgment. So much so that it’s lack of prudential judgment is a hallmark of its Divine origin, given no other institution could survive such hapless leadership.

    What is the concern, that the Church has lost its way on Faith and Morals or that it will continue making ill informed prudential decisions as it has for the last 2000 years?

  • Karl.
    I now have a smidgeon of understanding of your situation after the comments that arose the other day on the other thread with Cdl. Burke.. You have my concern and best wishes. Appreciated the humour in your previous comment further up the page too- 🙂

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  • Let’s not panic at this stage. This document is a summary of questions which have been asked, at this early stage (which the Pope has indicated will include another Synod next year followed by a final document issued by the Pope). It is not a doctrinal statement. On that basis the only really troubling phrase to me is the suggestion that Catholics should be “valuing” one of the effects of the Fall of Man into concupiscence, the habitual temptation to commit (a certain type of) sin. This “orientation” is a spiritual fault, a disorder which some human beings suffer from to a greater or lesser extent. Certainly we must always show compassion and justice to such people just as we should to deaf or blind people. But we should not ppretend that deafness or blindlness is something to be “valued”!

  • All of this seems to be an argument for the normalization of homosexuality. Might it not be a justification for many in the clergy itself?

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  • Prior to the 2008 presidential election the US Catholic Bishops issued a Catholic guide to one’s conscience in voting.

    The material was so nebulous, with loopholes, that one could virtually vote for an abortionist, if there were other “redeeming” qualities.

    By not speaking out in clear statements, it seems some Bishops may be reaping, what they have sown.

  • A lot of pandering.

  • “I look at people like Eve Tushnet, who speaks and writes so well on being “Gay and Catholic“

    I believe it was Ms. Tushnet who declared that the Catechism’s statements on homosexuality “sucked,” if I remember correctly because she objected to the use of the word “disordered.”

    “Perhaps it will take our gay Christian members to fully communicate what a lie that is; how valuable will their orientation then seem?”

    Right, because there have never been celibate Catholics who were not gay. Good grief.

  • “What is the concern, that the Church has lost its way on Faith and Morals or that it will continue making ill informed prudential decisions as it has for the last 2000 years?”

    The concern is that the leaders of the Church will be confirming people in their sins, which leads to death, instead of confronting them with the truth, which leads to life.

    This is not a game. Souls are at stake here. The fact that the men responsible for this will eventually be held accountable really doesn’t provide any solace.

  • The Anchoress? Dizzy Lizzy from so much spinning.

  • “The concern is that the leaders of the Church will be confirming people in their sins, which leads to death, instead of confronting them with the truth, which leads to life.

    This is not a game. Souls are at stake here. The fact that the men responsible for this will eventually be held accountable really doesn’t provide any solace.”

    Undoubtedly many will take it as a sign of confirmation in their sin, as you say. But that shouldn’t stop the Church from proclaiming what it needs to proclaim.

    I have little hope that what is accomplished will be conveyed in a prudent manner with the intent of conveying sound doctrine at the expense of being “pastoral”. Instead, the pastoral approach erroring on the side of confusion and parsing hard truths into meaninglessness for the sake of convenience will win the day in Pope Francis land.

    Nonetheless, I have great hope that what will be proclaimed by the Synod will be exactly what the Holy Spirit desires. Whether it is a change in canonical approach or development in doctrine, these things are not to be feared and should be embraced as part of a living Faith.

  • Paul D:

    When did you last hear (from the pulpit or elsewhere), or read in a parish/diocese mission statement, a priest or a bishop say/write anything concerning the salvation of souls? It is not a priority.


    “Aestheticism and radicalism must lead us to jettison reason, and to replace it by a desperate hope for theological miracles. This irrational attitude which springs from intoxication with dreams of a beautiful world is what I call Romanticism. It may seek its heavenly city in the past or in the future; it may preach ‘back to nature’ or ‘forward to a world of love and beauty’; but its appeal is always to our emotions rather than to reason. Even with the best intentions of making heaven on earth it only succeeds in making it a hell – that hell which man alone prepares for his fellow-men.”
    Don’t have the source . . ..

    And, if you have the audacity to question them, they will viciously attack you. These people lack moral or intellectual authority.

  • T.Shaw, Well to answer your question, this past Sunday I heard about the salvation of souls from the pulpit but I understand your point.

    Granted this wouldn’t be my top priority but there seems to be much ado about nothing at this point. The Church is not going to change doctrine.

    Knee-jerk reactions seem to abound and the amount of heat relative to light on this issue is intense from orthodox sources that usually are excellent sources of light.

  • The Church is not going to change doctrine.

    I’ll have more to say on this soon, but can we please retire this trope already? Few are expecting the Church to outright change doctrine. The concern, rather, has been that the Church will soft-peddle its message in effort to be more “pastoral.” And has been pointed out in numerous other locations, a doctrine may not be changed but merely ignored, and that is enough. See contraception.

  • Let’s keep this trope in context though…

    “If you’ve been an Episcopalian for any length of time, the tone of this document scares you way more than the words do.”

    – See more at:

    When there are posts that compare the actions of the Episcopal Church with the Catholic Church then the issue of doctrine has already been raised implicitly.

  • Jesus to Francis: “Get thee behind me, Satan.”

  • And right on cue you have guys like this ^^^ making the point that they don’t know the difference between doctrine and practice.

    So as you can see one man’s trope is another’s literal understanding.

  • Given this latest debacle, I kind of long for the days when Frankie just talked about stopping war and feeding the poor.

  • “The Church is not going to change doctrine.”
    Under the reform we seek, if you like your doctrine, you will be able to keep your doctrine. Period.

Ashamed of the Cross

Friday, December 14, AD 2012

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness:

1 Corinthians 1: 23

Hattip to Matthew Archbold at Creative Minority Report.  Well, for 40 grand a year Catholic parents can send their offspring to a “Catholic” college that is apparently ashamed of the cross.


The symbol of Saint Joseph’s College, the only Catholic college in Maine, has long been a seal with a cross on a shield with the motto “Fortitudo et Spes” meaning “Fortitude and Hope.” But the president of the college just announced in a letter to students forwarded to The Cardinal Newman Society that after an extensive marketing study, the college founded by The Sisters of Mercy will be removing the cross and motto from the logo.

“This is about much more than a logo or a look,” said Brent Wooten, director of online marketing for Saint Joseph’s in the college’s magazine. “It’s about who we are.”

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10 Responses to Ashamed of the Cross

  • Evangelium Secundum Matthaeum, Caput X, Vesus XXXII per XXXIX

    32 Omnis ergo qui confitebitur me coram hominibus, confitebor et ego eum coram Patre meo, qui est in caelis; 33 qui autem negaverit me coram hominibus, negabo et ego eum coram Patre meo, qui est in caelis.34 Nolite arbitrari quia venerim mittere pacem in terram; non veni pacem mittere sed gladium. 35 Veni enim separare hominem adversus patrem suum et filiam adversus matrem suam
    et nurum adversus socrum suam: 36 et inimici hominis domestici eius. 37 Qui amat patrem aut matrem plus quam me, non est me dignus; et, qui amat filium aut filiam super me, non est me dignus; 38 et, qui non accipit crucem suam et sequitur me, non est me dignus. 39 Qui invenerit animam suam, perdet illam; et, qui perdiderit animam suam propter me, inveniet eam.

    Matthew 10:32-39

    32* So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. 34* “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. 37* He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.

  • I am at a loss. I cannot understand that a college founded by Sisters of Mercy can reject a sign of there Catholic Identity. The world has gotten to them. They have succumd to temptations of the world.

  • I wonder what the history of the arms is. Perhaps, they are the founder’s, as it is unusual to find a chief in corporate arms; a chief is usually an augmentation of honour. The lilies, placed as a crest are obviously for St Joseph.

    Curiously, the Cardinal Newman Society blog refers to the new device as five gold bars, whereas the old one has five pallets. In any event, as a bar occupies a fifth of the shield, they would have to be barrulets. Perhaps, the writer is simply unfamiliar with blazoning.

    The illustration on the blog is so small, that I cannot tell whether the cross in question is a cross potent or pattée, which might give some clue as to its origin.

  • The authorities of this College are just ‘busy bodies’. The explanation given to the effect that the new change expressed more of what the College is, was a very untenable, fluid and watery argument. The question is: has there been any problem being expressed with regard to the presence of the Cross on the logo? And if yes, how has that affected the academic and moral performance of the students? One thing is clear here: someone, somewhere within the top echelon of the school has been wanting to vent his/her agnostic/atheistic disposition and therefore went ahead to dismantle the cross from the logo to satisfy his/her devilish whims. If really the school is a Catholic school and still aims at remaining a Catholic school, then the cross on the logo must be retained. In that light, nobody or group must remove the cross from that logo. Anybody not comfortable with the cross should look elsewhere for his/her ward/child or look elsewhere to seek employment. It is a free society and St Joseph’s College must retain ALL appurtenances of its Catholic identity, as established by its founders: the cross as it appears on the logo.

  • Maine is in the bottom five US states in the fiscal “death-spiral.”

    That doesn’t mean Maine’s only Catholic college needs to join in the crash-dive.

  • Looks like Maine has no Catholic colleges any more.

    There is Catholic-“C” and catholic- “c”. They’ve opted for universality over Catholic identity, an all too often affliction of those that used to be Catholic. Unfortunately, many of the used-to-be-Catholic colleges are Catholic In Name Only.

    As a intellectual property attorney, I think it is unfortunate that the Church wasn’t more aggressive in protecting the term Catholic (capital C) because then it would be more able to require adherence to its beliefs as a condition to using the term “Catholic.” As the Cardinal Newman Society has noted, parents sending their $40,000 a year are often duped into believing that the college will adhere to their Catholic beliefs. Having taken many theology classes over the years, my experience has been that the wolves are often among the sheep, perhaps by design. This is the worst form of deception because the price is the eternal soul, not a misrepresented product.

  • The same smarmy bureaucratic microbes seem to be in charge of just about every institution of higher education you come across. They must be bred somewhere in a cesspool fed by water from Boston harbour.

  • ……….and the great apostacy grows apace.

  • Maybe they’re also ashamed of their Catholic identity.

  • Would it be asking to much to have them remove the Blessed Sacrament from their property since Fortitude and Hope is being replaced with Ego and Pride. Something for the president to ponder over during these days of Advent.

    Question. When the founders, The Sisters of Mercy, prayerfully considered a logo that would honor the Creators university did they perform marketing analysis, concern themselves with pleasing non-Catholic sentiments or concern themselves with conforming to the world? Be in the world..yes but not of it.
    Another catholic (small c ) university loosing its sight.

    St. Joseph. Patron Saint of the Catholic Church pray for us!